Today we are going to be talking about the 8 biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them FAST so you’re not stuck in what we call the “emotional teenager” blogger phase for too long!
Let’s look at my blogging history dating back to college:
- PTformom.com (lost about $1500 on website design) – Started right after college
- Fitnessincollege.com (Broke Even) – Started after PT for mom with slightly more success
- Healthandhappyhour.com (lost more than I’d care to share) – Started about a year and a half ago
- Avocadu.com (10k+ per month up to 40k+ in one month) – Started about a year ago
You can see the proof in our income reports. I’ve been around a block or 2 with this whole “blogging” thing…
Would you like to know the difference between a successful blog and failed blog?
Lean in real close for the secret… It’s really simple…
It’s moving QUICKLY.
That’s the key.
You need to get enough momentum and wind behind your sails to propel you through the: “Is there anyone that even knows I exist?” phase and just as important, the “Why is no one buying from me?? I must not be good at this blogging thing” phase.
What’s the key to starting fast, my friends?
It’s a combination of failing fast and learning quickly from those mistakes.
All mistakes are impossible to avoid, but if you’re smart, you can use this list to avoid the big ones. So let’s hop right into the 8 biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them fast!
Here is an overview of what we will cover:
- Free Blogging Platforms
- Email Marketing
- Blog Post Headlines
- Pinterest Pin Design
- Blogging Anonymously
- Time Management
- Website Speed
For all of you preferred video learners out there, here is a video of this topic (plus some extra tips!) from our Youtube Channel below.
.For more free blogging tips and tricks from us, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Using a Free Blogging Platform
Can I get yo’ numba????
Our first mistake is for those of you still using a free blogging platform to create your blog (blogger, blogspot, etc). Here’s a short story about why this matters…
Some random guy walks up to you in a bar wearing a large black hoodie, cargo shorts, and 5-year old beat up sneakers.
His hair and beard are unkempt like the lawn care at an abandoned house.
Looking you dead in the eyes, he says, “I like your style, we should be friends…” in a gruff voice with no smile.
At this point in the story, you’d better be slowly reaching for your mental pepper spray.
This is a natural reaction to a bad presentation.
Now, same situation different guy.
This one walks up with an air of confidence, is wearing a nice white v-neck, some well-fitting blue jeans, and new trendy shoes.
He’s well groomed from his hair to his slight stubble. With a confident smile and relaxed tone, he says, “I like your style, we should be friends.” Totally different feels, right?
Here are the facts party people:
First impressions MATTER – in the blogging world just as much as everywhere else.
And if my first impression of you is that you won’t splurge for a $2.75/month hosting and domain package… you are looking more and more like Hank Hoodie than you realize.
It does not inspire trust or confidence, and those things are EVERYTHING.
It’s also ridiculously easy to set up a blog these days with no coding experience or expertise with WordPress and Bluehost. So no excuses, woman/man up, and do it right, if you want people to take you seriously, that is. Make a killer first impression!
We also have an article on free vs. self-hosted blogs if you’d like to do some further reading on what the differences are and WHY you should avoid free blogging platforms.
Avoiding Building an Email List
The second mistake bloggers make is not building an email list as soon as possible.
I remember when we started Avocadu, Lauren was NOT happy when I told her we’d be emailing people. She hates email and had her fair share of it as a CPA in Dallas, TX. Here’s what she doesn’t hate:
Those are the conversions we get from email vs. articles.
Almost 3x as many conversions (sales) come from our email list compared to sales made directly from blog posts.
Listen, I understand not liking email and worrying about being spammy, but the facts are the facts.
Without a doubt, email is the #1 way to turn a prospect into a buyer. It’s not changing anytime soon as it hasn’t changed for the past 10 years.
More importantly, Lauren and I have a list of tens of thousands of people we can contact when we upload new videos and articles and sell new products. It’s also security for our future.
Even if the Pinterest headquarters was hit by a meteorite tomorrow, we’d survive – because of our list!
Writing Poor Headlines
Not prioritizing your headlines over everything else is mistake #3.
There are full-time headline writers out there. No joke, people paid to sit in a room and think up the most compelling headlines all day… Welcome to the 21st century, media folks!
Companies literally are hanging on the threads of the clicks provided by their staff and the creative headlines they come up with.
Without a good headline, you won’t get any clicks to your site. And without clicks, there is no ad money. Adios, Buzzfeed.
80% of your time should be spent researching your topic and coming up with a compelling and creative headline.
Because how much does your content matter if nobody clicks and reads it?
You can have the best content in the world, but if you don’t pair it with a good headline, no one will visit your blog.
Make sure you also include the right keywords in your headlines to make sure your content is found in search!
Not Spending More Time on Pin Design
Just like #3, not taking the time to make beautiful, creative, and sometimes funny images is blogging mistake #4.
Pugs, not drugs. The image is going to be the 2nd most compelling piece of why people click.
Yes, it is second to headlines, because you can have a great headline and crappy image that still get clicks; However, it’s rare to have a spectacular image and weak headline driving clicks.
Feel free to scroll through the feed of our Pinterest pins, and you’ll see what I mean.
Lauren creates some of the best images on Pinterest using the free software Canva and has spent a lot of time getting good at it.
Not Having Enough Confidence in Your Writing
Next up on our list of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is not trusting your writing voice.
It took me a longgg time to figure this out.
Blogging can be intimidating as it is. I was always questioning myself too because I got horrible grades in in both English composition and writing in school.
Without Lauren proofreading, this post would undoubtedly be filled with enough grammatical errors to make an OCD English professor jump off their school’s Student Union.
Real talk: Just trust yourself.
There’s a real, honest to god, authentic writer in your body that just needs a chance to come out! When you write how you talk, it gives people a chance to actually connect with you.
This post is as much of a reminder for myself as it is a lesson to you, by the way. No, not everyone is going to dig your real, authentic writing voice. That’s not the point…
The point, my dear reader, is that the ones that do will latch onto you like a child in a thunderstorm. And those are the only people that matter.
If your writing style is trying to please everyone, you’re going get the same results as if you were to live life trying to please everyone — No real connections and a bunch of ‘acquaintances’ that don’t know the real you.
It. Does. Not. Matter.
Trust your voice. You are ENOUGH.
And trust that if this meathead former personal trainer with half a brain can write content people read, so can you!
We hid behind our blog avocadu.com for a while, and this is mistake #6 that new bloggers make. I don’t think anyone knew who was behind our content until around 4-5 months in.
What happened once we came out of hiding?
- More growth
- Higher sales
- More loyal followers
- More personal pride in our blog
Which leads me to the question…
Are you hiding behind your blog?
Lots of pretty images, but no photos of your face to be found… Stop hiding, homeskillet.
You must be more than just a blog. People need to see a face to connect with you if you want them to spend money on what you are selling on your blog.
There must be a real person behind the words.
Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Lauren and I have done this about 3-4 times in our blogging career, and it all always leads to disaster.
When we started Avocadu.com, we decided to start 5 different email lists and autoresponders sequences… We were dumb, but also excited and hungry to make some money and get rid of working regular jobs.
Ironically, it was only when we simplified everything into two lists that we started making some REAL money with Avocadu.
Focus is key.
Now, we are facing a similar problem running avocadu.com, createandgo.co, and The Health Nerd Youtube channel.
Hopefully, nothing gets cut! 😉
Even WE continue to make dumb mistakes over and over again.
Do your best to stay focused on the #1 most important task that you can do right now to help your blog succeed. Let everything else go, temporarily, until you complete that one task.
Not Paying Attention to Website Speed
Number 8 on our list of biggest mistakes new bloggers make was not optimizing images or thinking about the speed of your blog.
One day about 6 months into our blog, we decided to check our speed with Google’s speed checker.
Our blog was moving about as fast as 2 turtles trying to run through peanut butter.
There were a few reasons for this, but the biggest problem was our image sizing.
Most bloggers don’t realize this problem and just upload an image into WordPress at whatever size it comes in. The problem was that at 50 blog posts and pages deep, we now had to go back and fix everything.
Here is the step-by-step process we take to make sure our images are optimized:
- Resize, crop, touch up, add borders, etc. using the free photo editing website BeFunky.
- When it looks how you want it, save it to your desktop or whatever, and then upload it to Optimizilla. This is another free web-based platform that compresses your images for you (generally from 30-70% of the original file size)!
- THEN re-save it and upload it to your blog!
- Finally, download EWWW Image Optimizer. This free plugin reduces file sizes for images within WordPress once they are uploaded.
Bonus Blogging Mistake #9. Not FOCUSING on Pinterest!
Blogging and Pinterest marketing are a magical combination.
If you get both of them right, there’s a lot of money to be had that will cost you ZERO dollars in ad revenue!
In fact, we drive over 500,000 views a month from Pinterest alone from our account that currently has over 80,000 followers, and it is our preferred source of traffic.
A problem I have seen with bloggers is that they don’t take it seriously. Mastering Pinterest is not a simple or get-rich-quick thing. Most people end up giving up because they can’t “figure out” the platform.
The Truth: There is no shortcut to immediate traffic. Cultivating an audience takes time. But there are platforms that will help you get there a little faster.
If you don’t want to put in the work, just forget about blogging, because there is work involved! 🙂
Making money online takes a lot of time and effort.
If you want to make a lot of money, spending a good chunk of time and effort mastering Pinterest can be worth its weight in gold.
Here are our best Pinterest resources:
- How to Drive 300K+ Traffic to Your Blog with Pinterest
- FREE Pinterest Marketing eCourse for Beginners
Bonus Blogging Tip #10. Start a community group!
The #2 thing behind an email list for building trust I have seen to date is building a strong Facebook community.
Why? Because unlike email, a community gives your subscribers and readers a chance to interact with you and other community members.
It builds MASSIVE social proof, and many of the members will become buyers of your products and lifelong fans.
It’s also hella fun to connect with folks!
If you enjoyed this article on the biggest blogging mistakes or have any questions for us, please leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!